Lucknow: Coronavirus has hit the tourism industry in India hard, with UP’s Agra bearing the brunt after six people tested positive for the virus in the city.
Several domestic and foreign tourists have cancelled their hotel bookings and tour packages after restrictions were imposed on foreign travellers in order to control the spread of the deadly coronavirus in India.
“Not just international but also domestic tourists are cancelling their bookings due to the coronavirus scare. The tourism industry has been badly affected due to this,” Sandeep Arora, who heads the Agra Tourism Development Foundation, said.
Echoing similar concern, Rajeev Saxena, vice-president of Tourism Guild of Agra, said: “With restrictions on tourists, the tourism industry is facing a bad time. Hotel bookings and tour packages have been cancelled due to the coronavirus scare.”
All positive cases from the city have been shifted to a quarantine facility in Delhi and are being treated at Safdarjung Hospital in the national capital.
The Taj Mahal, one of the world's most popular tourist attractions in Agra, is also bearing the brunt of the COVID-19 outbreak. As per the information received, the footfall at Taj Mahal has dropped drastically over the last few days due to the coronavirus scare.
Meanwhile, to contain the spread of the disease, three schools in Agra city have been closed after a student was suspected of being infected by the virus.
A team of Uttar Pradesh Health Department has sanitised the school space where the suspected patient was studying.
Strict vigilance and screening is underway in Agra. Hotels and tourist sites have been instructed to inform the office of the Chief Medical Officer as soon as visitors from Italy, Iran or China arrive so that they can be screened for coronavirus, an official had said on Tuesday.
“The teams of health department are vigilant at all the airports in the state along with screening at the Indo-Nepal border. Isolation wards are being set up at all district government hospitals and several medical colleges are also being asked to set up isolation wards at their end. Rapid response teams are in place and there is no need to panic at all,” Uttar Pradesh health minister Jai Pratap Singh told News18.
The Uttar Pradesh government had on January 27 directed officials to set up 10-bed isolation wards in every district hospital and medical college of the state as a precautionary measure to deal with any suspected case of coronavirus.